Military technology goes commercial at Farnborough

Aviation technology previously used only by military pilots is to be made available in commercial cockpits, BAE Systems has announced.

The defence giant is to announce its Active Inceptor Systems will be ready for use by commercial aircrafts at the Farnborough Air Show, which starts today.

The systems, also referred to as Active Sticks, allows the pilot to feel feedback from the plane about the way it is being flown through a control stick, informing them if they are reaching the limit of the aircraft’s capabilities.

BAE says the Active Stick, which have been supplied to the military industry for 25 years, provides a link between the two pilots while increasing awareness and safety across the cockpit without the weight of any mechanical linkages.

BAE Active Sticks Inforgraphic

Nigel Wright, director of regional and business jets for Commercial Aircraft Solutions at BAE Systems, said bringing the Active Inceptors to the commercial market represents a significant milestone for the aviation market.

“Active Inceptors have features and benefits over existing pilot control technologies, including improved safety via electrical communication between pilot and co-pilot – so both individuals are aware of what the other is experiencing – and complete stick-to-surface capability enhancing what pilots detect through their controls, depending on the flight modes and condition of the aircraft,” he said.

“We have been supplying these cutting-edge solutions to military aircraft across the globe for many years, and to be able to now bring this technology to the commercial sector is a significant and exciting milestone for our business.”